36: John Sonmez: The Software Developer’s Life Manual

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Leave a comment in this episode about how you plan to make your career better between Jan 18th and Jan 25th 2015 and one lucky winner will be selected to receive a FREE copy of John's How to Market YourSelf as a Software Developer course(worth $299.00)!

Soft Skills – The Software Developer’s Life Manual

Do you want to take your career (and life) to the next level? Discover how to make this your best year ever with John Sonmez, the author of Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual. In this episode John, who I’ve dubbed “the hardest working developer in the software business”, shares with us his best tips for becoming a successful software developer/tester.

John Sonmez


John Sonmez is a life coach for software developers, and helps software engineers, programmers, and other technical professionals boost their careers and live a more fulfilled life. He empowers them to accomplish their goals by making the complex simple.

John is also the founder of Simple Programmer . He has published over 50 courses on topics such as iOS, Android, .NET, Java, and game development for the online developer training resource Pluralsight. He is an outside consultant for themarketingheaven.com, hosts the Get Up and CODE podcast, where he talks about fitness for programmers , and the Entre-programmers podcast, where he and three other developers/entrepreneurs share their real stories of building their online businesses.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • If you want to be a better software developer—a better anything, really—you need to focus on the entire person, not just one or two areas of your life.
  • Think about your software development career as a business, and start to think of an employer as a customer for your business of developing software.
  • Learn how to hack the interview process
  • There are many different mediums you can use to get your message out there, but one of the most prominent ones I recommend for software developers is a blog.
  • Writing is an extremely valuable skill because it helps you to organize your thoughts.
  • Pick some kind of niche and build your brand around it—the more specific the better.
  • The key to being  productive is being consistent – over time, small bricks put perfectly into place each day eventually build up a wall.
  • Being well rounded is not a good way to market yourself – no one wants a generic product
  • Leave a comment in this episode about how you plan to make your career better between Jan 18th and Jan 25th 2015 and one lucky winner will be selected to receive a FREE copy of John's How to Market YourSelf as a Software Developer course(worth $299.00)!
  • Want to know the best way to increase your salary or hourly rate? Sign up for Johns free How to Build a Blog email course.

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  1. Excellent work as always Joe, John gaved some very insightful and inspiring advices for our career ,loved this episode! One says : your value only goes greater when you help someone with what you know . Sharing what you know is great help for fellow Developers and testers . Thanks for what you have done for us audience . Big fan of your blog , podcast and also API testing manifesto!
    Test Automation Enginner

  2. A really inspirational episode this, one of my favorites. Well done Joe and John.

    My big takeaway from this episode is that the more effort you put into helping others (e.g. sharing knowledge) the more you get back for yourself also (e.g. recognition, opportunities). Following this, the thing I plan to do to make my career better is to consider what in my experience and skill set I can share with others to utilize this truth.

    – kmp

  3. John is always an inspiration. His passion for what he does is contagious and encourages me to do my best. Because I listen to John`s advices , this year I begin my plan to go freelancing and/or have. my own business. I want to travel the world while I work and have more free time to do what I like and spend more quality time with my family. Thanks for pushing me to become a better person John. You’re the best.

    1. Congrats Andre! Your name was randomly selected as the winner for John’s excellent course How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer. I forward John your email info. Enjoy! Cheers~Joe

  4. I regularly follow up the various activities and advices by John and Joe has always been an inspiration for me. You guys are role models for me in every aspect.

    This year i started with my hobby of reading books on miscellaneous subjects, like Space/Astronomy and other genres as well.
    Also i strongly decided that i will create a blog and will pen down some interesting articles on automation and other stuff related to software testing activities on basis of knowledge which i learned from my personal experience.
    and finally my last plan would be … spending quality time with family and friends, since they play key role for boosting up a successful career and life.

    Once again thanks a lot to Joe and John for supporting Testing Community !!!!

  5. Great conversation in this one! Thanks to both Joe and John for sharing. From my last job as a software consultant, I’ve thought a lot more about what I do at work and have tried to take a more active role in shaping it. However it’s still a struggle to know how to proceed with it.

    I’s funny too because at my last job I became a career coach for one of my co-workers without really realizing it. I had referred an old college friend to a job which she ending up doing for a few years. However they underpaid her and didn’t give her any projects that would help to build her skill sets. On her first real project with helping a client fix an existing test automation framework, she was basically thrown to the wolves and given no mentoring or guidance even though she had no real experience with it. After some big initial set backs on the project, I spoke to her in length after hours to try to give her what she needed to get the project back on track (which is basically the same concepts you share in terms of best practices and common pitfalls), as I had been in the same situation before and had to learn the hard way on my own. Long story short, she eventually became the lead on that project which turned into a job offer in which she got proper compensation for her level and actually enjoyed what she did at work.

    This past year I’ve started a new job as well and agree with your point that everything around your life impacts your work life too. I’m learning more about how important it is to find a good work-life balance. Since starting the job I’ve tried to take a more active role at work and outside. I’ve started weight lifting in the morning (maybe 15 min), bike (15 min) or run to work (25 min), and practice yoga after work during the work week and for lunch I eat the same semi healthy lunch of roast chicken and mixed veggies. This has led me to be a lot more energetic and positive at work. I even volunteered recently to teach an in-house 3 day course on UFT to manual testers.

    I just wish I knew about this podcast sooner to learn about all the information you share and to have had a chance at the free book too. Thanks again!

    1. Awesome Rob! I agree that having a good work-life balance actually helps you work better when you have to work. I’ve also put some of John advice to work from his book and have seen great results. Thanks for sharing! Cheers~Joe

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